LAST week, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte went to Samar with Senator Bong, not the budot-dancing Bong, but the ever performing Kuya Bong Go. The president afforded relics of recognition to the soldiers, fallen while performing their duties.
The president used to visit wakes and express the same sentiments to the ill-fated police operatives during operations especially in the war against illegal drugs. Either in a small degree of wound or fatally wounded soldier and police, both are considered heroes.
Then the president was overheard in many public appearances quoted: “pinatay nila ang mga sundalo at pulis ko.” And his lines were usually punctuated with “put@#% in@” as he verbalized his concern to the heroes.
While living, the government has Brobdingnagian spending for the salaries of these ought-to-be heroes.
On the other hand, there are reported cases of teachers kidnapped; others were mercilessly butchered inside their classrooms, while performing their duties so to speak. The latest one in the banner stories was a public school teacher in a remote barangay of Valencia City in Bukidnon. And the almost simultaneous to the ambush incident in Samar also happened in Davao del Norte where a teacher was shot to death inside a tricycle while on her way to school.
Having heard these cruelties against many teachers, we haven’t heard a single instance that the president pays a short visit to the families of these heroes too. Not even a financial aid or an instruction to concern agencies to fast tract the investigation if only to render a speedy justice to the families.
“Pinatay nila ang mga sundalo at pulis ko.” He owns the police and soldiers. Did he also ever pronounce owning the teachers?
There was also a teacher-hero in Makilala who, like a hen, covered her children when the 7.2 magnitude quake struck them while conducting classes. The teacher was hit by a concrete block on her nape and only regained consciousness in the hospital but there was no reported recognition from the office of the president or any from the government agencies. Not even a verbal recognition of the heroic deed of this unsung hero. Had our beloved Nanay Soling been around, she could have consoled her co-teachers and tap somebody’s shoulder in whisper to love her “kabaro”.
Teachers are heroes too. But let us not contend for recognition for dying while on service. Let us be practical that these teachers need to enjoy the fruit of their labors while alive. The Duterte administration has barely two years more to make good of his commitment during his campaign. Until today, the same broken record of promises has been repeatedly played during speaking engagements with the educators especially on Teachers’ Day.
Let us not talk the walk but walk the talk on the promised salary increase for teachers, lest we forget that teachers are heroes too.